Summer time (due to heat) is probably the least favourable time to use the trail, late autumn to early summer is ideal. August to October is the best time to catch the vast array of wildflowers although some can be found all year.
Buckingham Totem Marker. Geoff Bunce.
Horse and sulky near Cowcher bridge
An easily graded trail through rolling farmland and bushland
an open cut mine at Buckingham and spectacular wildflowers in spring.
The trail surface was graded and rolled twice during construction and contains sufficient clay to maintain a relatively firm surface all year. It is suitable for hybrid type bikes and possibly some wheelchairs. The rail trail committee recommends that all horses that people are intending to use on the trail be shod as the gravel stones in the trail surface can cause problems for horse's hooves.
The Darkan bridge has gravel over blue metal ballast while the other four bridges have timber decking.
Food and drink etc is available in Collie and Darkan but nothing in between the two towns; trail users are advised to carry water sufficient for two days unless they have support via the Coalfields Highway which is in sight of the trail for the majority of its length.
The old station at Bowelling (to be renovated) can be used as an overnight stopover if required as it is approximately half way between Darkan and Collie.
A section of the trail between Collie and Buckingham is currently the site of a coalmine and will be included in the trail once the mine is finished and the area rehabilitated. An alternative route may be made available in the mean time.
There is also great interest by local communities for the trail to extend a further 48 km to Williams and possibly another 32 km to Narrogin.
The government narrow gauge railway line opened in 1907 and closed in 1986-97. Construction of the trail began in 2002 and it opened in October 2005.